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No Time to Discriminate: Pump Up All the Games

September 26, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

How come the Chargers can't get their hands on any of these performance-enhancing drugs?


FROM WHAT I can gather, just about everybody else is using them, or is suspected of using them, and now that nandrolone is really the Breakfast of Champions, who will get their picture on the bottle?

By the sound of it, 1999 world shotput champion C.J. Hunter, better known as Marion Jones' husband, swallowed a fistful of the stuff before competing in July, testing positive at 1,000 times the allowable level. What was he trying to do, throw that metal ball out of the stadium?

Now I would never suggest husband and wife were sharing the same "vitamins," but I think this demonstrates once again the marketing genius of Nike, which had the foresight of having Mrs. Jones doing commercials sounding like some sort of zoned-out beatnik: "Can you dig it?"

The problem with these performance- enhancing drugs, of course, is that athletes have been trained to beat the tests, which results in everyone coming under suspicion after suspicious results.

After a gold-medal performance by Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands, Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote, "Every whisper is that she is winning with drugs."

I was whispering the same thing to myself after the U.S. women's softball team dropped three consecutive games after 112 consecutive victories.

"They must have run out of syringes," I whispered to myself.

The softball team recovered seemingly overnight, and is now one victory away from collecting a gold medal. Someone obviously went shopping.


WHY NOT CALL off the charade, even the playing field and allow everyone to shoot up or get a sex change?

This is really Ryan Leaf's only chance to play like John Elway, or beat Venus Williams, depending on the option of his choice.

Now we have Andreea Raducan, a 4-foot-10, 82-pound, 16-year-old Romanian druggie, who has tested positive for using a banned painkiller, and while you have to admire anyone who can prance across a balance beam with dilated pupils, the IOC has stripped her of her all-around gold medal.

I wouldn't want one of my daughters to be known as an "all-around girl," but apparently it's very important in Romania, and officials said she had a cold, and "she's an innocent child . . . not capable of such a thing as doping."

Sure. For all we know she's 36, has been on some kind of Romanian steroid potion made to stunt her growth and bring back memories of Nadia Comaneci.

Come on, let's make it fair, and allow athletes to take whatever they want, because we all benefit. It's time all the pixies were wired.

We would get fairer competition and better performances leading to improved entertainment. Just think how much fun you had watching an andro-jacked Mark McGwire smashing Roger Maris' record.

And much like the space program, which produced countless advances for the everyday citizen, using athletes as drugged-up guinea pigs, eventually someone would develop a performance-enhancing pill that could be used in the everyday workplace, which would certainly make readers of this space happier.


THE ONLY THING more ridiculous than San Francisco wide receiver Terrell Owens trying to stake claim to the star in the middle of Texas Stadium was the Cowboys' Neanderthal retort, articulated by Emmitt Smith, that no one was going to come into their house and disrespect them.

If that was the case, you would think they would have put up a better fight in their first two home games, losing by a combined score of 82-38.


THE IMPORTANT THING here is that San Francisco has made a strong statement, fining and suspending Owens for his touchdown celebrations, because the 49ers play Arizona this week, and who needs Owens to beat the Cardinals?


TAMPA BAY WIDE receiver Keyshawn Johnson had as many tackles as he had catches and yards against the Jets: one.


HOW ABOUT THOSE gritty little Trojans, inspired by a halftime speech from Knute Hackett, coming out and throwing aside mighty San Jose State in the fourth quarter the way they were supposed to all the time?

Apparently no one talked to the Bruins at halftime.


GOING WITH THE Alabama argument advanced earlier by Bruin fans, shouldn't Oregon (No. 20) be ranked higher than UCLA (No. 15)?


THE CHARGERS HAVE scored one touchdown or none in 35 of their last 52 games, which suggests quarterback Cade McNown will always have a home, and considering his relationship with Bear fans, he might be needing one.

"We're not motivated by fans that come to the game and yell and boo at us," said McNown--2-8 as a starter--after being booed for his fumble and three interceptions. "If they are really hurt by us not playing well, they should probably just not come to the games and stay at home and boo their TVs."

Telling Chicago fans how to act must be more serious than parking in handicapped parking spaces, because while he never said he was sorry for parking wherever he wanted, he had a quick apology for Bears' fans Monday.


THE DODGERS' MAGIC number is one--one Met victory or one Dodger loss and the boys in blue are eliminated from the playoffs.

I still believe.


TODAY'S LAST WORD COMES in an e-mail from several good citizens:

"I thought we were supposed to get better games when the Rams and Raiders left. Instead, CBS shows us the Raiders versus Browns, and we miss the great game between the Bucs and Jets."

Keep in mind CBS' target audience is the local penitentiary.


T.J. Simers can be reached at his e-mail address:

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